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2017 Young Women's Ventures

In January 2017, Global Grassroots Young Women's Academy (YWA) underwent a couple of exciting changes. First, we shifted from a country-specific to a regional program, welcoming young women from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and South Sudan to a single training location in Gulu, Uganda. We are broadening our impact by helping vulnerable, yet motivated young women from a variety of cultures and experiences build wider networks and expand their leadership capacity and agency to create change.

In addition to opening our program to participants from more countries, we also welcomed young women who may not have plans to attend university. Originally designed to provide university-bound girls with an alternative to the risks they face between high school graduation and the start of university (including pregnancy and early marriage), we are now providing training to those who may not have the benefit of higher education yet still dream of becoming a social entrepreneur in their communities as their primary professional endeavor.

We are catalyzing an international network of young women change leaders focused on improving the lives of other women and girls, especially in post-conflict communities. To that end, this year we welcomed 24 young women to our program from Uganda (10), Rwanda (8), Kenya (2), and four young women who are from South Sudan and were attending secondary school in Uganda.



SOUTH SUDAN

MARY AJWOKMARY AJWOK

Issue: School drop-outs

Solution: With the help of local teachers and international partners such as Save the Children and Child Care in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, located across the border in Uganda, Mary is engaging girls between 12 and 20 years old in understanding the importance of staying in school and she is helping them find ways to overcome challenges that affect their attendance.


LONAH AWAT LONAH AWAT

Issue: Teen pregnancy

Solution: Lonah is working to overcome school drop-outs in the Kiryandongo Settlement Camp for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda by addressing teen pregnancy. She is teaching 40 girls that they do not have to trade sex with men in order to have the money needed to attend school by providing them with skills to earn the money on their own. Through drama and community meetings, Lonah is also helping parents feel comfortable talking to their children about sex and birth control.


STELLA MANENO  STELLA MANENO

Issue: Early marriage

Solution: With assistance and support from local health professionals in Lombe Village, Stella is providing sex education to 100 girls between the ages of 12 and 20 as well as practical income-generating skills so they can avoid marrying when they should be attending school. Stella is sensitizing parents to the negative effects of their belief in early marriage and the importance of ensuring their daughters get an education.


SUZAN ISAAC SUZAN ISAAC

Issue: Early marriage

Solution: Suzan is using drama to educate parents and up to girls (10-16 years old) in Gudele 2 about the consequences of early marriage and teen pregnancy, and the importance of education. Radio spots will help inform parents and the rest of the community.




RWANDA

CHARLOTTE UWAMAHORO CHARLOTTE UWAMAHORO

Issue: Early marriage

Solution: In Muko Sector, Charlotte is helping 80 12-18 year old girls avoid pressure to get involved with older men and helping parents find ways to discuss the issue with their daughters. Charlotte is inviting successful local women as well as girls who married young to provide testimony to both groups about the consequences of marrying young.


GLADYS AYATGLADYS AYAT

Issue: School drop-outs

Solution: Learning that many young girls in Patiko Village discontinue their education because they become pregnant, Gladys is providing sex education to local girls and ensuring that they and their parents understand the importance of continuing their education. For girls who have already left school, Gladys is training them in some income-generating activities do they can support themselves, their babies, and potentially return to school.


JEANNETTE TUYISENGE JEANNETTE TUYISENGE

Issue: Prostitution

Solution: Providing training in hair styling and manicures, Jeannette is helping 60 women and girls in Kidogo Village leave prostitution. She is also helping them establish a savings and loan group to invest in one anothers new business. Separately, she is working with parents in the community so they understand the importance of educating their daughters.


DIANE MUTONI DIANE MUTONI

Issue: Unemployment

Solution: In Karurama Village, uneducated, unemployed young women and girls are getting both literacy training and job search skills from Diane. She is also teaching them the benefits of cresting a lending circle.


ANITHA BAMUREBEANITHA BAMUREBE

Issue: Unemployment among young women and girls

Solution: Anitha is training 60 women and 60 girls on income-generation and helping them create lending circles to support one anotherís business start-up costs. Holding a public workshop with local leaders and 25 couples, Anitha will also provide family planning education to try to reduce overpopulation in Sovu Village, a leading cause of poverty and too much competition for too few jobs.


GLORIA BA-IHIRWE GLORIA BA-IHIRWE

Issue: Divorce

Solution: Learning about the negative effects that troubled marriages and divorce have on children, Gloria is sensitizing couples in Bibare Village. She will help them work toward strengthening their troubled relationships and help them understand the negative impact they are having on their children.


JACKLINE MBABAZI JACKLINE MBABAZI

Issue: Teen pregnancy

Solution: With guidance from local health workers, Jackline is educating 14-19 year old girls in Kamagiri Village on body maturation, sex, and birth control as well as providing them with skills to support their education themselves.


JANET UMITONIWASE JANET UMITONIWASE

Issue: Early marriage

Solution: Between workshops and public dialogue for the Kimisagara community, sex education and job skills training for girls 16-24, and sensitizing children in grades 1-9 about the importance of reading, Janet hopes to instill a culture that focuses on education and helps girls avoid becoming pregnant and dropping out of school.


AISHA UWASE AISHA UWASE

Issue: Teen pregnancy

Solution: Aisha is running community workshops to promote gender equality, sensitizing parents about supporting daughters as they do their sons, and providing sex education to girls. Her three-pronged approach is designed to attack the root causes of teen pregnancy in Kamanga Village.




KENYA

JENIFFER OTIENO ANYANGO  JENIFFER OTIENO ANYANGO

Issue: School drop-outs

Solution: Jeniffer is sensitizing 200 girls in grades 6-8 across five schools in Naivasha District to the role education plays in living in a better life and the risks of dropping out. She is also working to secure scholarships for those girls whose families cannot afford the school fees.


VIVIEN GITONGA VIVIEN GITONGA

Issue: Early cancer detection

Solution: Through sensitizations about the importance of cancer screenings, especially for breast and cervical cancers, Vivien wants to reduce cancer deaths in her community within Nairobi county. She is working with the local hospital and Faraja Cancer Support Trust to provide a free cancer screening week, organizing a cancer walk and another fundraising event to directly support women with cancer, promoting a healthy lifestyle through her church and social media, and spending one-on-one time with a total of 30 cancer patients.




UGANDA

 JOYCE APIYO JOYCE APIYO

Issue: Child abuse

Solution: With guidance from the NGO Human Rights Focus, and the Child Protection and Probation units of the Bar-dege Division police, Joyce is identifying and meeting with ten children and their families to end child abuse. In addition, Joyce is holding community sensitizations to involve the village in protecting children.


APROFIA ATUHAIRWE APROFIA ATUHAIRWE

Issue: Low self-esteem in youth 13-23

Solution: Viewing low self-esteem as the root of many social issues in her community, Aprofia is providing motivational classes, leadership skills development, and a support group to help youth in Sheema District develop confidence and find their voice, enabling them to resist negative peer pressure and make better choices.


BRENDA ACHOLABRENDA ACHOLA

Issue: Teen pregnancy

Solution: Through sensitizations, debates and workshops, Brenda is empowering 50 girls 14-16 and helping 30 parents in Gayaza village to understand how best to support and guide their daughters in pregnancy prevention. She has created a club named for her venture, Girls Arise, where girls can talk about issues and support one another in making good choices.


RITAH AINOMUGISHA RITAH AINOMUGISHA

Issue: School drop-outs

Solution: By providing girls with the skills to earn money on their own, Ritah believes fewer girls will have to leave school in Katenga Village. Further, she hopes that by sensitizing parents to the benefits of having an educated daughter, they will be more willing to better provide for them. Ritah is also creating a youth fellowship program to provide continuing peer support when Ritah heads to university.


SHARON EYOTARU SHARON EYOTARU

Issue: Prostitution

Solution: In addition to providing counseling to 15 girls and young women who are currently prostitutes in Terengo Village, Sharon is also teaching them skills so they can support themselves in healthier ways. Sharon is also leading sensitizations for girls still in school and she is engaging the rest of the community through meetings and radio spots.


TRINTA AYUMO TRINTA AYUMO

Issue: Early marriage

Solution: Trinta is working to change the cultural belief in Arapai Village that girls do not need to be educated and must marry early. With the help of local leaders, she is leading sensitizations in the community as well as working with 100 girls (50 in 6th grade and 50 in 7th) to stress the importance of education and providing them with life and job skills so they can pay their own school fees if necessary.


PATRICIA OYELLO PATRICIA OYELLO

Issue: Women's land rights

Solution: With help from FIDA, a local group of women lawyers in Omoro District, Patricia is educating women on the rights regarding buying, owning, and retaining land. She is working directly with local leaders to enlist their help in educating men in the community and she is working within the school district to create awareness among school children to eliminate the issue in the future.


SHARON AWACHANGO SHARON AWACHANGO

Issue: Poor personal hygiene

Solution: Sensitizing about the importance of good personal hygiene, particularly during menstruation, Sharonís goal is to eliminate skin diseases as well as stigma for 130 girls between the ages of 12 and 17 in Cuba A and B villages. She is enlisting help from local leaders to provide sanitary supplies to schools and, with the local health team, she is teaching parents how to teach their children about the importance of good hygiene.


ESTHER AKECHESTHER AKECH

Issue: Discrimination against girl children

Solution: By providing women's rights training, Esther hopes that women will stand up for their right to own land and girls will say no to early/forced marriage and yes to education. Esther will also educate the rest of Abim Village about the negative effects of both early and forced marriages.



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